Orientalism...what? How seemingly harmless narratives perpetuate inequalities
2019-12-27, 19:25–19:55, ChaosZone Stage

Orientalism is a concept that reveals how people categorize and discriminate against others by using seemingly positive or harmless attributions and images. In an interactive presentation, we will introduce Edward Said’s concept to the audience by examining selected Twitter and Instagram posts.

Orientalism #Postcolonialism #Othering #Racism #Sexism


NGOs are doing it, the new film about PJ Harvey is doing it, most of us are doing it: using Orientalist narratives to describe the world around us. This happens consciously and more often unconsciously and perpetuates imperialistic perceptions about the (flexible) “Other”.
Whenever we order an “exotic Asian salad”, bring back “those beautiful indigenous souvenirs” or by having an Orientalist gaze when travelling and taking picture only of the things that seem “exciting and characteristic”, we create an unequal image of “us” and “them”.
As we can see from these examples, the concept of Orientalism is not limited geographically but uncovers seemingly positive and harmless but deeply discriminating narratives everywhere - one famous example being the discourses about East Germany from a West German perspective.
In this presentation, we will explain the concept of Orientalism (Edward Said, 1978) by discussing written examples from Twitter and visual examples from Instagram to uncover the traps and temptations of Orientalism.

Orientalism #Postcolonialism #Othering #Racism #Sexism